An initiative in New Hampshire will provide sexual assault survivors with a valuable new resource after the University of New Hampshire received a $25,000 grant to develop and launch a mobile app designed specifically to provide pertinent information in a survivor’s time of need.
According to an official university release, the uSafeNH app is made possible by funding from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) and several statewide partnerships. As a result students, faculty and staff at 23 New Hampshire colleges and universities will have instant access to the free mobile phone app that will provide localized information to help sexual assault survivors, as well as their friends and family.
uSafeNH was developed by the university’s Prevention Innovations Research Center and students in the UNH-Manchester STEM Discovery Lab. The app uses geolocation services to provide information regarding local crisis centers, hospitals, campus resources and police. The app will be free to all New Hampshire colleges and universities this fall.
Longer term, the plan is for the app to be offered for sale to institutions in other states, with the revenue from those sales helping to sustain the effort.
“In New Hampshire, and nationwide, one in five women will be sexually assaulted during their college career,” says PIRC co-directors Sharyn Potter and Jane Stapleton. “Support and services make a difference in ameliorating the long-term negative effects of this violence, and it was critical that we found a way to harness the mobile technology that millennials have already integrated into their daily lives.”
The initiative brought together students at UNH-Manchester, the UNH Prevention Innovations Research Center, the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, as well as the state attorney general’s office and State Police. The developers of uSafeNHFive were awarded a $25,000 AMP grant and were chosen from a group of five non-profit finalists that made pitches to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurs’ Fund.